Climate Hawks Vote issues tepid congratulations to the California legislature on its passage of a largely symbolic climate bill*, AB 398, which extends the state’s climate cap-and-trade system until 2030. Climate Hawks Vote, in solidarity with a unified environmental-justice coalition, opposed the bill because of Gov. Jerry Brown’s concessions to the oil industry that threaten both California’s climate goals and the health of Californians.
“Legislators are praising AB 398 as a victory showing California’s desire to lead on climate where the federal government will not,” says RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote. “Unfortunately, it’s a hollow symbol. While the bill helps signal market certainty with its use of market mechanisms, the poor brown, black, and white people of California need clean air, not markets.”
“AB 398 is a climate bill* in the same way that Barry Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs…. With an asterisk and a lot of extra corrupt juice,” says Miller. “This is a prime example of why Climate Hawks Vote is fighting to get fossil-fuel money out of California politics.”
Over 11,000 members of Climate Hawks Vote signed a petition decrying the revelation that the governor’s June 2017 proposals on cap and trade were the direct descendants of an April 2017 Western States Petroleum Association wish list. Through backroom deals, the bill progressed from a Big Oil valentine to a polluters’ smorgasbord, with giveaways to manufacturing industries, electric utilities, and agriculture, all without strengthening climate provisions. In the run-up to the final vote, California Climate Hawks Vote members made hundreds of calls to lawmakers opposing the bill.
Climate Hawks Vote stood with over 60 climate, environmental justice, and progressive organizations unified in opposition to AB 398. Not a single environmental justice group in California supported the bill.